A major study published last October in the Archives of Internal Medicine (“Acupuncture for Chronic Pain” ; Vol. 172, No. 9 1444-1453) confirmed what acupuncturists around the world have seen in the clinic on a daily basis.
“Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain…” reads the first sentence of the conclusion. Furthermore, the authors of the study found that “… significant differences between true and sham acupuncture indicate that acupuncture is more than a placebo.”
Their findings are based upon an analysis of 29 high quality randomized controlled trials (RCTs), which are considered the “gold standard” by researchers. Conclusions were drawn from the collective experiences of 17,922 patients, taking in to consideration publication bias and other measures of statistical sensitivity, to ensure accurate results.
Overall, the analysis found acupuncture to be effective for treating back and neck pain, shoulder pain, muscle aches, and chronic headaches, and it is significantly more effective than “sham” acupuncture or no treatment at all.
These findings are especially important as this is a respected publication of the American Medical Association, which yields considerable power concerning policy making and the decision making process of medical providers. As such, the authors state that acupuncture is a reasonable referral option for physicians.
So the next time a doctor or a friend says “there is just no evidence to support acupuncture is more than just a placebo”, refer that person to this study – or any of the other numerous studies that have found acupuncture to be an effective, natural approach to achieving health and wellness!